TSYS CTL & DNB NOR

DnB NOR Bank has chosen TSYS Card Tech’s “PRIME” card
and merchant management system to manage the DnB NOR Kort credit card portfolio. “PRIME 3.0” will enable DnB NOR Kort to consolidate its issuance and management of different types of credit and payment cards, including prepaid, private-label and loyalty cards, on a single platform. In addition, “PRIME” provides support for handling
multiple issuers and acquirers on the same installation, support for
multiple languages and currencies, and fully EMV-compliant issuing and
acquiring for VISA, MasterCard and American Express requirements. “PRIME” uses Oracle’s “Real-Time Application Clustering” to achieve secure, high-volume transaction processing. The DnB NOR Group is Norway’s largest financial services group.

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Report Projects Solid Consumer Spending

Chicago-based Mesirow Financial says persistently strong consumer spending among other factors should offset any additional drag coming from the housing and auto sectors with prospects for real GDP growth of 2.1%. Mesirow’s “Themes on the Economy” newsletter cites that among other factors: Loss rates in the larger mortgage market (compared to sub-prime mortgage market) remain relatively low, running almost half the pace of the 1990s recession; debt service burdens have been rising consistently over the years, and have yet to constrain consumer spending. No one knows what the “equilibrium” level of debt should be given financial innovations, which have enabled consumers to carry more debt in recent years. Mesirow Financial is a diversified financial services firm with nearly $23 billion in assets under management.

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Monthly Payment Rates Head Down Again

Monthly payment rates, the amount that cardholders pay on their credit card debt, headed south to 19.27% in January and should continue downward as consumers migrate from home equity loans to revolving credit. Payment rates reached nearly 22% during 2006 driven by increased minimum payments and a strong economy. Consumer revolving credit hit a record of nearly $879 billion in January, growing at an annual rate of 1.1%. According to FitchRatings, the gross yield jumped 50 basis points in January to 18.28% and is 32 basis points above year-ago levels. Both measurements are for credit card backed-securities.

ABS METRICS
YIELD MPR
Aug 06: 17.86% 20.24%
Sep 06: 17.96% 21.06%
Oct 06: 17.58% 19.30%
Nov 06: 17.96% 19.82%
Dec 06: 17.78% 19.32%
Jan 07: 18.28% 19.27%
Source: FitchRatings

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Gemalto Delivers CharlieCards to the MBTA

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is using Gemalto devices for its “CharlieCard” electronic ticketing initiative. Gemalto is providing 3.5 million secure contactless transit smart cards to the MBTA for the program. By the end of this month, Gemalto will have successfully delivered 2.4 million contactless transit devices for the program. Because the cards were delivered fully encoded by Gemalto, the MBTA was able to distribute the cards immediately without having to be processed through the MBTA’s smart card encoding equipment. “CharlieCards” are reloadable at fare vending machines, fareboxes, MBTA ticket offices and eventually on-line. The MBTA is the nation’s oldest public transit system and currently the fifth largest mass transit system as measured by ridership.

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Paymetric Upgrades its XiBuy Solution

Paymetric has introduced the newest version of “XiBuy”, its procure-to-pay purchasing card expense management solution for the SAP enterprise with more than a dozen new features. Its full integration with “SAP Funds Management” functionality extends the value of “XiBuy” for the public sector. “Funds Management Cost Collectors” can be derived from an existing accounting object within the cost center or general ledger account or entered manually through the “XiBuy” user interface. “XiBuy” is the only SAP Certified solution that enables purchasing card transactions to be managed directly within SAP. “XiBuy” enables purchasing cards to be used as a payment method for purchase orders, facilitating three-way (or two-way) reconciliation and automated generation of the invoice receipt. Paymetric provides enterprise payment processes within the financial supply chain by embedding card payment and acceptance capabilities into existing business processes and systems.

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Citizens Financial to Offer Debit Points

Providence-based Citizens Financial Group has launched the “Citizens Bank and Charter One Bank Merchant Network,” enabling customers to earn up to 20 “Everyday Points” for each dollar of their debit card purchases. Customers may now redeem their reward points for cash deposits into a Money Market Account, Savings Account or Individual Retirement Account, a .20% bonus on the interest rate on Certificates of Deposit or a .25% rate reduction on Home Equity Loans or Lines of Credit. Citizens and Charter One cardholders are eligible for the incremental points through in-store, online and catalog purchases with retailers in the merchant network, which includes Dunkin’ Donuts, Eddie Bauer, FAO Schwarz, Hickory Farms, Hollywood Video, Legal Sea Foods, Linens ‘n Things, Macy’s, Mrs. Fields, Restoration Hardware, Sharper Image, Timberland, Yankee Candle and 1-800-FLOWERS. More than 590,000 customers have enrolled in the programs since October. Points are redeemable through a catalogue of merchandise, gift cards, travel vouchers, charitable donations and bank products. Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is a $164 billion commercial bank holding company.

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Hypercom Q4 Revenues Up 14% Sequentially

Hypercom posted a 14% increase in revenue and a 2% gain in gross profit for the fourth quarter compared to the prior quarter driven by the South American and European markets. However, revenue declined 5% and gross profit decreased 18% year-on-year due to a significant decline in multi-lane revenue and a decline in the revenue from the Australia/New Zealand markets. Revenue for the fourth quarter was $64.8 million, compared to $68.1 million of revenue in the same quarter of 2005. During the quarter, CO-based Total Merchant Services agreed to purchase 20,000 Hypercom “Optimum T4100” multi-application card payment terminals for its free terminal program. Chicago-based Aon Warranty Group inked a multi-year agreement to provide extended five-year warranty plans for select Hypercom electronic payment terminals. Hypercom also unveiled “ATMConnect,” a new service that upgrades dial ATMs to IP without the need to replace every ATM machine. Additionally, the Company introduced “P4100 PIN Pad.” Hypercom announced one of the largest single orders of payment terminals in Brazil during 2006 for 60,000 “T2100” payment terminals from a major card issuer. The Company is projecting twelve month 2007 revenue of approximately $284 to $290 million, representing an increase of approximately 14% to 17% over 2006 revenue. For complete details on Hypercom’s fourth quarter results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 10/12/06; 10/27/06; 11/6/06; 11/9/06)

HYPERCOM REVENUE HISTORICAL
4Q/04: $74.6 million
1Q/05: $50.6 million
2Q/05: $60.2 million
3Q/05: $66.5 million
4Q/05: $68.1 million
1Q/06: $61.0 million
2Q/06: $66.1 million
3Q/06: $56.7 million
4Q/06: $64.8 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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National City Launches a New ATM Campaign

Cleveland-based National City’s new checking customers will enjoy free ATM usage. National City benefits offered by its new checking accounts, depending on the account selected, include Rebates of $1.50, up to 30 a month, for every non-National City ATM transaction for National City Elite Checking accounts, in addition to eliminating National City’s fee for using other banks’ ATMs; no National City fees for transactions at non-National City ATMs and free checks for National City Free Checking Plus and National City Interest Checking Plus accounts. Any monthly automated activity such as monthly direct deposit or online bill payment will qualify accounts for these benefits. National City is also unveiling a new design for its Consumer and Business CheckCards and credit cards to more closely align with its points from National City rewards program.

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Nationwide Responds To Lagging Credit Card Use

To counter the decline in credit card popularity, Nationwide Building
Society will offer customers new incentives. The company’s Gold and
Classic credit cards will offer an introductory interest rate of 0%
on balance transfers for ten months with a 2.5% fee and 0% on all
purchases for three months. Benefits of this new initiative also include
commission free card use abroad, free 12-month extended warranty on
selected purchases, no annual fee, free online banking and free
Nationwide Fraud Watch.

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Triton Standard is the Best ATM Contribution

Triton Standard was recently recognized with the “Best Contribution to the Industry” award by the ATM Industry Association. The award is presented annually to an organization that demonstrates a long-term positive influence on improving the industry. In 2004, Triton, the largest provider of off-premise ATMs and ATM management software in North America, opened the Triton Standard message format free of charge to ATM manufacturers, including competitors. Triton Standard is the most widely used and emulated retail ATM message format in the industry. Triton is a provider of off-premise ATMs and ATM management software in North America and has more than 158,000 installations in over 24 countries worldwide.

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